Federal Privatization Efforts
INS Implements Detention Standards
The Internal Revenue Service ("INS") will implement its Detention Operations Manual ("Detention Standards"), which provides uniform policies and procedures for the treatment of individuals detained by INS, at INS-owned facilities in January 2001. Over the next two years, these standards will be phased into INS contracts with private prison providers, as well as state and local facilities under arrangements known as Intergovernmental Service Agreements.
There are thirty-six standards, which detail INS's expectations for the handling of detainees in all INS Service Processing Centers, Contract Detention Facilities ("CDFs") and state and local government custodial facilities that house INS detainees for over seventy-two hours. All detention policies and procedures must be posted in the law library and contained in a detainee handbook, which is provided to each detainee upon admission. The new standards treat INS detainees in federal and contract facilities equally, and are based on current INS detention policies, Federal Bureau of Prisons' Program Statements, and the American Correctional Association Standards for Adult Local Detention Facilities. However, four new access standards have been included, regarding visitation, access to legal materials, telephone access, and group presentations on legal matters. A quick analysis of these standards will prove useful to private prison companies operating CDFs for the INS.
INS Detention Operations Manual
Look for the Corrections Contractor at the ACA Winter Conference
Joe Summerill, the Corrections Contractor's editor, will be attending the American Correctional Association's Winter Conference, January 22 - 24, 2000 in Nashville, Tennessee. Joe will be available to answer your questions regarding past articles and will be open to your suggestions for future articles.
Question & Answer
DOJ Procurement Resources for Contractors
Q. How can a government contractor find out about procurement opportunities at the Department of Justice?
A. For government contractors interested in procurement opportunities at the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ"), the agency has created a Procurement Services Staff ("PSS") within the Justice Management Division ("JMD"). PSS consists of approximately 35 contract specialists and purchasing agents, who provide procurement support primarily to the Antitrust Division, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Division, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Tax Division and U.S. Attorneys, but also other DOJ components such as the U.S. Trustees Office. The products and services procured by PSS range from basic administrative support services to major information technology systems and services. Approximately 20% of the contracts awarded by PSS go to small business concerns and 3% to small disadvantaged business concerns.
DOJ Procurement Opportunities
DEA Wins Protest – A Lesson in Requesting a Debriefing and Amending a Protest
The Drug Enforcement Agency ("DEA") successfully defended a protest by Norvar Health Services ("Norvar") regarding a contract initially awarded to Norvar and then terminated when Hunter Medical ("Hunter"), a unsuccessful offeror, filed a GAO protest alleging that the award was improper. As a result of the Hunter protest to GAO, DEA reopened discussions and requested final revised proposals from all offerors in the competitive range.
Norvar protested DEA's decision to terminate and resolicit the contract. It also alleged that Hunter had obtained competitive advantage during its debriefing when it was told the specifics of Norvar's proposal.
Norvar first pursued an agency-level protest. DEA held that it properly elected to take corrective action after an evaluation revealed that Norvar's proposal was noncompliant because it did not propose a qualified individual for the particular position, as required in the statement of work. Norvar then filed a GAO protest, arguing that none of the improprieties alleged by Hunter's protest required DEA to reopen the competition and allow submission of revised prices. However, Norvar did not protest DEA's determination that its proposal was ineligible for award. As a result, GAO held that Norvar was not an interested party and lacked the direct economic interest necessary to protest DEA's decision. GAO did, however, acknowledge that a question remained as to whether DEA abused its discretion by reopening the competition and allowing offerors to reprice their proposals after viewing Norvar's price.
Bid Protest Decisions
New IRS Ruling to Benefit Many Small Businesses
Effective January 1, 2001, many small businesses, including small correction contractors, will be allowed to make federal employment tax payments on a quarterly basis, rather than on a monthly basis. Under a December 6, 2000 ruling by the IRS, the threshold for businesses allowed to make quarterly payments has changed from "less than $1,000" to "less than $2,500" in quarterly employment taxes. The change will effect approximately 1 million small businesses, which account for approximately 13 percent of the $52.7 billion collected in employment tax deposits.
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